Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's no mystery why I love Tuesday Thinger!

It's Tuesday and Wendi, at Wendi's Book Corner has a cold, so she says she came up with a really easy question. I am not sure how easy it is because it made me think, and thinking early in the morning makes my head ache a bit....
But here is this weeks question....

Today's question: Do you have a specialized blog where you only review a certain genre or type of book? If so, what is your favorite thing about that type of book? If not, what is/are your favorite genre(s)? What makes that genre(s) a favorite?

Specialized, no...but SPECIAL yes! Now, of course, all blogs, particularly book blogs, are special, but mine is just the most special. Well, it is to me...
But no, I review a variety of books. Not a huge variety, because to be quite honest, there are many books I have no interest in reading. They don't interest me, so I would not request them or buy them because not only would I not enjoy reading them (which is still sort of the point of this) but I could not be fair in a review. For example, sorry, but I hate romance novels. Self help...oh, please, NO!

Do I have a favorite genre and why is it my favorite? Why, I am so glad you asked and yes, in fact, I do.

I love mysteries.

I always have. It was certainly the first genre I read in large quantities, very large quantities. I have in my bookcase, that I am looking at as we speak (if you are reading this, we are 'speaking' in a sense) a nice hardcover edition of 'THE Complete Sherlock Holmes' that my mom gave me as a birthday gift when I was a wee Caite. I read it cover to cover. Mr. Holmes was shortly followed by everything Agatha Christie every wrote...Rex Stout, Dick Francis....Oh, I had found my genre. Those were the days that my local library, talked about yesterday, got a workout. I like thrillers, police procedurals, detectives, PI's, cozies, medical mysteries, gothics. They can be mysteries set at race tracks, by the ocean, in the desert, in foreign countries. I like them set in the past, in the present...and within reason, in the future.

Now some of you may say "Oh, mysteries...they are so..." and then insert a negative term. Light, silly, gory, dark. Yes, I am sure some are. But that is the thing about mysteries. There are so many types, something for every taste! The settings travel the world, from Trenton, NJ, (Evanovich) to Iceland (Arnaldur Indriðason), present day to the 1800's, with Edgar Allen Poe's The Murder in the Rue Morgue, often considered the first modern mystery story.

And see, there is another thing about mysteries. Yes, they can be light, even funny, but also some of the great works of literature are actually, at their heart, mysteries. Look at this list of the 100 Best Mystery Novels of all time from the Mystery Writers of America, or this one from the Crime Writers Association. Poe, Dostoyevsky, Bram Stoker, Graham Greene, Martin Cruz Smith, P.D.James, John le Carre, Dorothy L. Sayers; we mystery lovers claim them all! Some of the greatest works of literature are, at their heart, mysteries.

Why do I love mysteries? Well, they are intellectually challenging, they make you think. Can you rise to the challenge and 'figure it out'? The setting, the characters can be as varied as the writers imagination. But ultimately, even in the most scary or funny mystery, it comes down to a battle of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. Mysteries present a world where, not always easily, not always clearly but fundamentally, logic and order and The Good ultimately come out on top.
And I guess that is how I see Reality...at least on my better days.

Gee, that didn't seem so easy...lol.

..and now, a picture of Bandit

or two...


  1. I love mystery/thrillers too. Especially the real page turners you just CANT PUT DOWN. Need to read one again soon.

  2. I love mysteries too, but it would be easier for me to tell you the genres that I don't like than those that I do.

  3. I had forgotten to mention Agatha Christie in my post - along with Earle Stanley Gardner, these were the first two authors I read for pleasure...because my mom read them all.

  4. I don't read a lot of mysteries (now. when I was a kid it was all about Nancy Drew for me!). But, I've stumbled across some in the past year that I have enjoyed(again, expanding my horizons due to blogging) ... *The Brass Verdict* and *The Memorist* come to mind.

    I wish we had a pet, so I could post photos like you other Thingers!

  5. Mysteries were my first genre too, but I didn't really start reading them until I was in my 20s. I seriously read nothing "genre" before that. But my boyfriend introduced me to Rex Stout and I never looked back. Still can't get enough of Archie Goodwin.

    Have you ever read Henning Mankell? You mentioned foreign mysteries and I read Faceless Killers last year and thought it was pretty great. Should get more of his stuff really.

  6. nichole, I love Archie too!

    Dawn...don't tell anyone, but I don't have a dog either. Bandit belongs to my niece. Ok, I have actually mentioned that before but he is JUST SO CUTE! and can be found at his very own BLOG!

  7. Yikes! I wanted to let you know that the poll wasn't working on my original post, so I deleted it and redid it - it IS working now! :) Wendi

    Bandit is adorable!

  8. yes, Bandit is the cutest dog in the world. really. :-)

    Nicole, I never heard of Mankell but I have a soft spot for Swedish cops...

  9. did you get the email i sent you..entitled "promote me!?" lol!

  10. Bandit looks like he is growing a human arm in the top picture!! He is so adorable!! I heard he gave his Mom the brush off after she put him in the bathroom while she cleaned up the dirt he dug out of the plant pot! When he would not pay her any attention she told Bandit that most puppies do not hold grudges and they just get over it!! I guess he thinks otherwise!!

  11. Thanks for stopping by. That's why I like these things--so many new blogs to read, so many people to meet...

  12. Bandit...two picture and a link...isn't that enough?

    Grandmom Fitz, you are right about the arm. Given more time I would have photoshopped it out, but it was a good catch for you. You might not read my reviews but I see you look at the pictures!

    RAnn, I am always looking for interesting blogs...which is why I get nothing done on my days off from work.

  13. I love mysteries, too. Great pictures of Bandit!

  14. Mysteries is a favorite of mine as well. Istarted out reading Agatha Christie Mysteries. Loved them!

  15. I love mysteries too :) What a cute dog!

  16. This was a great post! I love how you write and you make an excellent case for mysteries! I do enjoy them ... and I almost NEVER figure them out before the end. But I don't really feel the need to either ... I just like going along and getting the big reveal at the end.

    And the dog is soooooo cute!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog ... I appreciate it. I will be coming back to yours I suspect!

  17. well, you are all welcomed back any time! I'll even bake cookies! There will be beverages! A dip perhaps. :-)

    as to figuring out mysteries....ideally I think, you should not be able to. The clues should be there, the information should be there, you might even think you have figured it out...but then you realized you were misled! Tricked! Excellent....

  18. great post, great comments, I think I'll play next week

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  20. I've got a Lenten meme going. Please come join me.

  21. Bandit is too cute for words!!! and yes I like mysteries and such...but you know that since we always get the same ER books. :)

  22. moseying over to check out the Lent meme..

    Yes Amy, when I was getting ER books, we often got the same one. but then I mentioned how successful I had been with ER...and never got another book. A co-inky-dink no doubt...

  23. Fabulous post as always Caite. I think a lot of readers enjoy mysteries because as you said, there are a variety of them. The one type of mystery I never read though is medical. For some reason, those turn me right off. Legal thrillers, cozies, police procerdurals, yep, love 'em all!

  24. You are so wonderful. . . um special Caite! Your posts always make me smile. :) (me smiling!)

    Another thing - I'm actually really sad that I've never read any Sherlock Holmes! Hmm - might need to fix that!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week. ~ Wendi


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